Lew and Judith – Our Retirement Works

Lew and Judith Feinman

We were married in New York in 1956 and moved to South Florida where Lew was a registered pharmacist, buying into a partnership that eventually owned four drug stores

Judith was a stay at home mom raising two children when Lew came home one day and suggested that they take real estate classes and try their hands at real estate sales.small Judith Feinman Photo

Lew Feinman PhotoLew:  The pharmacies were doing well but the insurance industry and their “third party pay” programs made it difficult for the drug stores to receive timely payments from them.  It was time for a change for me and a way to get out of being a partner in the drug stores.

Judith:  I had never sold anything in my life but I was ready to try. We got our licenses and proceeded to do well enough financially that Lew was able to sell his share of the drug stores and go full time into selling real estate with me.

Lew:    Judy and I hung our licenses in Coconut Grove Realty. We worked as a team listing and selling properties.

Judith:  I learned a great deal about myself and found sales challenging and exciting. Happily we caught a rising real estate market.

`Lew:   Then after several successful years in the real estate business, interest rates for home mortgages jumped so high that sales were difficult to finance. The real estate market was at a stand still.

Judith:  Our daughter, Ilene, had gone off to live in Santa Cruz, California and Michael, our son, was ready to go to Florida State University in Tallahassee. We became empty nesters. Timing, as Lew’s mom would say, is everything. It was time to take Michael to college and for us to travel.

Lew:  We sold our home in Coconut Grove.  We thought we were retired. We bought a Cortez Motor Home and off we went touring the United States from Florida up to Maine down to Washington DC and across the country to visit Ilene in Santa Cruz.  Then onto Alaska and down to the Baja.

Judith:  We traveled for a year and I felt like a teenager, foot loose and fancy-free!

Lew:  We bought a home in Santa Cruz. Parked the Cortez in our driveway, remodeled the house and went back to work.  Real Estate School one more time and the two of us became licensed realtors in California.

Judith:   A breast cancer diagnosis stopped me cold.  Real Estate was no longer in my picture. After a year of treatment I was ready to go back to work and did a part-time job for the county.  I decided to attend school at Cabrillo College…early childhood education and art classes. Two things I always wanted to do.

Lew:  I had a great run selling real estate for more than five years when I decided to stop selling homes. Seven days a week was more than I was willing to do.  I stayed in the real estate business as a mortgage broker, and continued working from 1987 to 2004. Finally…retirement.

Judith:   I read that the Parent Center was starting a Child Abuse Prevention Program and needed facilitators to bring their program to the public schools in the county.  After being trained, I became one of several women who were mandated to report abuse. We worked together in teams of two and traveled with our little play teaching and talking with children from kindergarten to junior high school.  This was a state funded program and after about four years the funds were exhausted.

Lew:  With both of us now retired for the final time, we are enjoying our life in Capitola.  I became a VIP, a volunteer in police for the city of Capitola and also am on the board of the Capitola Village Residents Association.  We travel and visit family watching all five of our grandchildren become amazing adults and looking forward to spending time with our first great grandchild.

Judith:  Retirement for us allowed time to go to the gym on a regular basis, join the Museum of Art and History as charter members and docents.  I found the time to paint and was lucky to be one of five authors who wrote and published two mysteries set in Capitola, “The Jewel Box” and “A Killer Festival”.

I am a member of the Santa Cruz Watercolor Society and the Santa Cruz Art League. While I was on the Art League Board, Lew joined in helping to get it back on its financial footing. We both enjoy gardening, hiking, attending concerts and theatre performances.

We became members of Osher Lifelong Learners out of UCSC. It is a wonderful way for us to meet new people and enjoy the many interest groups.

5 thoughts on “Lew and Judith – Our Retirement Works

  1. finally got to stop and read this. so lovely. Mike is right: you are the model for relationship, parenthood, and retirement. OK> I am ready to retire now! ;-

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